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Kia Motors’ Star Shines Brightly at the Los Angeles Auto Show November 24th, 2011

Tinsel Town rolled out the red carpet for the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and while many car manufacturers vied for the spotlight, it was Kia Motors America (KMA) that stole the show with a dazzling booth and press conference that many attendees called one of the most innovative and creative presentations of the entire show.
Let’s take a look at some of the top highlights from the Los Angeles Auto Show:

1. Design-led transformation: In front of more than 700 journalists and industry observers, KMA debuted an all-new auto show display that represents the impact design has had on the Kia brand and its vehicle lineup.

2. LA is the green show: Media had the opportunity to test-drive some of the top “green” cars in the industry during press days, including Optima Hybrid and all-new Rio 5-door with Idle Stop and Go (ISG) technology.

3. KMA is having its best year ever: KMA vice presidents, Michael Sprague and Tom Loveless detailed the brand’s unprecedented growth in the U.S., with market share at an all-time high and best-ever annual sales year to date.

4. Optima sales are red hot: The Optima has been a runaway hit since the day it arrived, with sales are up more than 180 percent in 2011.

5. Dancing with Hamsters: KMA’s new booth features an interactive entertainment platform where media and consumers do the “shuffle” with one of Kia’s music-loving hamsters.

6. Kia Motors is hitting the throttle with an expanded race team: If you walked the Kia booth you got a chance to see the Forte (known as Cerato in some regions) Koups and their success in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge – Kia Motors is now expanding its  racing portfolio by bringing the Optima SX to the World Challenge racing circuit in 2012.

7. Kia Motors gets the West Coast Customs treatment: There is no doubt that Kia vehicles have some of the sleekest designs in the automotive industry, but it was great to see the transformation of the Kia Soul for Michelle Wie and the Blake Griffin basketball themed Kia Optima – both customized by the guys at West Coast Customs and featured at the Kia booth.

8. Kia joins forces with LPGA: We just mentioned the tricked-out Soul for LPGA star Michelle Wie, but what you might have missed is that Kia proudly announced that they are returning to the world of women’s golf as the official automotive partner of the LPGA and bringing the Kia Classic back for a third year.  No word on whether she’ll drive the Soul on the greens.

9. Blake knows cars: Our jaws dropped last year when basketball all-star Blake Griffin dunked over a Kia Optima, but our jaws dropped even further when we saw Blake get out of a customized basketball-themed Optima Hybrid after being announced as Kia’s new official spokesperson.

10. Blake can act, too: The best part of Blake Griffin’s appearance at the auto show was getting to check out Blake’s acting chops in Kia’s newest advertisements for the Kia Optima.  They are fun, refreshing and definitely a slam-dunk.

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